Archive for January 24th, 2011

Autonomous Quadcopters Work Together To Build Structures

Clay Dillow writes in Popular Science (1/19), “Whenever a new video emerges from UPenn’s GRASP lab (that’s General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception), it’s usually awesome, and this one is no exception.” The video features a team of autonomous quad-rotor helicopters “working from a preset algorithm…constructing a cubic tower structure using specially designed parts that snap together via magnets when placed in the proper arrangement.” The quadcopters “can even judge the quality of their own construction, checking to make sure a piece is properly in place before moving on to the next segment.” Considering potential uses, Dillow writes, “Beyond the obvious applications in automated construction processes, swarms of construction ‘bots could be launched from naval vessels to autonomously construct shelters in disaster-stricken areas or to set up a forward operating base before live troops arrive in a combat zone.”

Reposted from the 1/20/11 ASEE First Bell

The Dream of Perpetual Motion

Dexter Palmer reads from his debut novel.

Monday, February 7th, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Auditorium of the Harrison Institute/

Small Special Collections Library

Beautifully written, stunningly imagined, and wickedly funny, The Dream of Perpetual Motion (St. Martin’s Press, 2010; Picador, 2011) is a heartfelt meditation on the place of love in a world dominated by technology.  DEXTER PALMER lives in Princeton, New Jersey. He holds a Ph.D. in English Literature from Princeton University.  Following the reading, Dexter will sign copies of the novel, available for purchase through the U.Va. Bookstore.  Sponsored by the U.Va. Library’s Harrison Institute and Scholars’ Lab, the U.Va. Department of English and Creative Writing MFA Program.

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January 2011